Cost to Register/Title a Motorcycle? Good Deal?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by poppe, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. poppe macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills
    Hey guys,

    Just curious how much it costs to register a motorcycle in California. I am really trying to purchase one, but I won't be able to if it costs a butt load to register it, like it does a car.

    Also, just wondering what you guys thought about this bike?

    I know it needs fixing, but I was talking to my buddy who said he would help me take it to his mechanic so that it wouldn't cost that much to fix the electrical work.

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Motorcycles are somewhat pricey to fix. Best you know that in advance. Aside from that, the CA DMV is really the best place to get matter of fact answers.

    Here's a link to the page regarding motorcycle registration.

    As for the bike itself, if it is at a legit bike mechanic then it seems like a great deal. However, you need to get your Class M license, which you can't just go out and get without taking tests and such.
  3. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
    If you can do the maintenance yourself do it. Get a manual. Bikes are very easy to work on. Everything is right there.
  4. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    To start with, what model year is it? Why does it need $600 of electrical work? That should cover a full harness replacement, which is not a good sign. Way too many questions, nowhere near enough detail.

    Somehow, I believe I'd pass on this without thinking twice.
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    Based on your question, it sounds like you've never owned a motorcycle. Can you handle a Suzuki R750?

    And that electrical sounds like a problem. Make sure to take it to a mechanic before buying it, regardless of what the dealer "fixes."
  6. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills

    Oh yes I know that, but my Mustang which is falling apart left and right and at best gets 20 mpg is costing a lot more than what a motorcycle would. I looked online for how to get an estimate for the price of registration and it needed the VIN number or the license plate number before it could give me an estimate. I do not have those and don't want to call the owner just yet.

    As far as the M license, I am taking the CA training class where they give you a 150 cc or a 250 cc (maybe a 50cc?) and run you through a course and test drives, then at the end of the day they issue a document that will allow you to get your license. This class doesn't start until the End of November/Early december. Either way I have an open garage to store the bike until I have my license.

    I'd rather just have it fixed, especially if it is electrical, but the other stuff I'll be doing myself.

    Good question. He told it to me when we spoke on the phone, but now I forgot. That did seem rather high for electrical work.

    Well my motorcycle experience is not exactly intermediate or expert, but I do know I can handle a 750. I had a motorcycle on my farm growing up which was a 250cc (it was a street bike, and we had vast cement roads to practice on). Plus all my life friends have had bikes and they have let me drive them as well. I realize that it still doesn't make up for the difference in power especially for basically being a beginner. I want to get something around a 600, but I also don't want some nasty looking bike just because it's a 600. My bike purchase is going to have to carry me for a while, so I can't just upgrade in 8 months to a year for something faster.


    What do you guys think about this?

    I'm really trying to keep the bike under $3000, but its surprisingly hard to find a good one.
  7. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Mar 11, 2004
    if you still consider yourself a beginner I highly advise you go with something smaller. I understand you have ridden other bikes. But living with a bike is nothing like borrowing someone else's. the R750 is a freakish fast bike. It may be so much fun and safe to take on a test drive, but when it's your method of transportation, it's a whole other thing.

    I know you wanted to know about registering a bike, and this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it would be a lot smarter to get yourself a cheaper less powerful bike to live with. You will learn so much when you have to commute with it. You will also enjoy it much more than the 750 since after a few weeks you'll probably be able to push the throttle to it's limit and be in control. Also, keep in mind, you will drop your bike several times in the beginning, would be better if it was a cheap one. Once you are comfortable with the responsibilities of owning a bike and commuting with it, only then should you consider something like the R750.

    I suggest you look for a used 250cc Honda Nighthawk. These bikes are bullet proof reliable, low maintenance, and are easy to handle. Also they have good resale value since there are always beginners who are in search of these.

    goodluck! :)
  8. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills
    Yes you are right the 750 maybe a lot for me. I know I'll drop it a few times. I have a few burns from my last bike and dropping it. I am looking at a low price for that particular reason, but I am still trying to avoid a 250. I really will only be able to buy a bike once in the next 5 years and don't want to get stuck with a 250.
  9. adroit macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC
    I know this is not what you want to hear, but I would also recommend a 250. Especially when you're concerning about operating cost/gas money, a 250 will get twice the mileage as the 750 you're looking at. I'm not living in CA but insurance on a 250 should be much cheaper as well. I think you should look for a Ninja 250r, you can pick one up that is still in excellent mechanical condition within your price range.

    Honestly, a 250 will take you years to master it. I think most people who started with a 250 upgrade way too soon (just look at the chicken strips on their bike). It is much cooler to learn how to drag knees than to go fast on the straight. Anyone with a wrist can learn how to go fast on the straight.

    My fiancee and I went 2 up with full camping gear (it was our only bike at the time). We went all the way from Victoria, BC up to Jasper, AB (Canada). The bike was stable and fast all the way over the Rockies and we were passing most vehicle in our sight and had no problem keeping up with other bikes (you will have to down shift, but the bike goes up to 14000 rpm and you can just let it scream :) ). Of course, you'll never be able to keep up with a 600/1000cc bikes on the straight but you'll have no problem beating them in the twisties if you're a good rider.

    Not to let you down, but you might want to consider other cost associate with the bike too. Bikes are expensive to maintain and you need to consider things like tires, oil change, accidents etc etc. You'll also need some riding gears (Which are really expensive). And please do not cheap out on gears.

    If you truly want to get a cheap transportation, buy an older corolla or civic. A motorcycle, no matter how old, is not a cheap transportation.
  10. benflick macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Title (of ad) says $1500, ad itself says $2200, I hate when people do that. A full wire harness replacement should be less than $601... Something smells fishy about that.
    Just my $.02

    EDIT: also the ad doesn't even list the year of the bike
  11. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    The seat doesn't look original to me, the age is not given, and the electrical defect might well be a broken alternator due to a crash, especially considering the seller's comment of "turns out I need to stick with a 600". Having a "totally mechanically sound bike after the electrical is fixed" is of little value if the frame is bent.

    That is of course just my 2 cents, and I am feeling a bit pessimistic tonight. :cool:
  12. poppe thread starter macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2006
    Woodland Hills
    It used to be 2200, but the guy changed it to 1500 because he just wants it gone.

    Either way I am not to interested in this bike. I am more than anything interested in thoughts about registering a bike/getting it titled in CA.

    He also said the bike is at a Suzuki dealership, but if I had a different bike shop I could get all the work done for a lot cheaper. Either way I am not to interested in the bike because I don't feel like dealing with fixing stuff and I don't feel like a 750 would be the smartest option. So I'm not on the hunt for a 600, which in CA everyone seems to try to get all their money back for their mods.... lame.

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